A downloadable game for Windows
'Hippocampus' is a short exploratory game created for a college assignment. The 'hippocampus' is a small region of the brain that forms part of the limbic system and is primarily associated with the formation of long-term memories and spatial navigation.
The game was created around the given theme of 'Invited'. My interpretation of the theme was to place the player in the shoes of a 25 year old subject who has accepted an invitation to experience an Animus-like (see Assassin's Creed) programme being developed by a scientific group. The animus is a device that enables the user to re-live genetic memories. The memories are saved in five year segments and each of these segments can be visited whilst in the animus.
Segment 00-05 for example, would port the user back to the time of their birth and up to the age of five. The animus chooses the most prominent memories from between these two points and will offer the user the chance to walk through and re-experience these events from their past.
This concept of re-living or travelling back to certain points in life is of great interest to me. I did not address it in the sense of being able to 'change the future' but more so to be able to re-live and perhaps be able to understand, from a now adult perspective, certain matters we did not have the wisdom or maturity to deal with when they occurred.
Primal therapy involves repressed pain and childhood trauma being brought to conscious awareness and attempting to resolve the issues through re-experiencing the incident and fully expressing the resulting pain during therapy. The patient may not have had the words or ability to do so at the time of trauma, especially if they were very young. I think something like this 'animus' programme could be implemented into therapy sessions in the form of a VR experience which REALLY allows the patient to re-live the experience.
I plan to develop the idea behind this game further and would eventually like to implement a questionnaire that you complete IN GAME at the start before entering the animus. Upon entering the animus, the questionnaire will have procedurally created the memory segments based on the answers you supplied and the experience would therefore be customized and personal to each player.
I think games are only in their infancy in regards to medical and/or scientific applications and I intend to attempt to broaden people's minds in terms of discovering the unending amount of potential possessed by games as a form of media. A notable example would be DEEP, in which players don a Virtual Reality headset and a custom DEEP controller to explore a beautiful and mysterious underwater world. The game sweeps you into its relaxing embrace as it teaches you 'yogic breathing techniques' that can alleviate stress, anxiety, and mild depression.
Another example would be my card game, Heroes Choice, which has been successful in allowing children to lose their inhibitions and come out of their shells when playing. Parents noted that their usually 'quiet, shy and withdrawn' children suddenly transformed into 'talkative, excitable and open' children whilst playing and dressing up as the various characters in the game. Autism Ireland and several school bodies were interested in implementing the game into classrooms to aid children in developing their imaginations and becoming more sociable with their peers.
I am extremely passionate about developing games along these lines, exploring multiple ways they can be used for human improvement and progress.
My games can also be found on my website
Any and all feedback is welcome - @VRuttle
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